I dig it when the editor of The Third Eye suggests bands for me to review, particularly when I’ve never heard of them before. Such is the case with today’s focus, a band from Santa Rosa, California, named Deer Lord. Their new album, Dark Matter Pt. 1, was released on February 3rd, 2023.
About Dark Matter Pt. 1
There are 6 tracks on this album, and they fall under the heavy psych, psych-rock, doom, stoner, metal, and rock categories. Included within their music is a killer groove, fast-paced riffs, incredibly placed psych elements, and an overall vibe that is absolutely fantastic.
Opening the album with the psych-heavy “Witches Brew,” Deer Lord immediately shows the listener what they’re about. The ambiance provided by the intro is further aided by a growling fuzz bass tone; its aggressive sound is subdued by the slow groove of the line itself, leading into a slow, heavy riff that completes the overall tone of this section. The vocals highlight this song, cleanly sung and hypnotic even when the riff picks up in intensity, pulling you in for the ride that they’re taking you on. The guitar lead is the perfect addition to this track; it’s not fast or flashy; it’s exactly what the track calls for in terms of tone and execution.
Track #2 is actually the first thing that I’d heard from the band, a powerful tune called “Psychedelic Roadkill.”
While “Witches Brew” was heavy psych, “Psychedelic Roadkill” is just heavy. The tempo is much quicker here, the riffs flow like water, and the bass tone is on point! There’s a lot of fuzz going on, a super solid groove, and a bit of a High On Fire sound due to the riffs and vocals. If this song doesn’t get you moving, then you’re probably dead, as I couldn’t keep my leg from bouncing as I wrote this review.
“Hippie Girl” is another solid offering and continues on with more groove than you can shake a stick at. The lyrical content is similar to the first two songs, but this time it’s about that hippie chick that we all know at least one of; a hard-partying, free soul that just wants to have a good time.
The last half of the album is made up of “Ride Away,” “Ego,” and “Planet Earth.”
Each of these is an equally excellent piece of music, with “Ride Away’ riding the line between stoner groove metal and heavy psych, “Ego” is an angry rant at people whose ego affects those around them in a negative manner, a killer solo, and a Motorhead vibe, while “Planet Earth” is a most excellent way to close out the album, utilizing a cool drum intro before diving into the song as a whole. All of these are great counterparts to the first half of the album.
This music is perfect for a lazy afternoon smoke session with Mary Jane, but it also has enough power behind it to be good for doing chores of any kind. Deer Lord uses their influences to create music that any fan of the stoner genres will be able to enjoy; from the kick-ass riffs to the excellent vocal sound to a tight rhythm section, Deer Lord is going to grab you and make you move!
Support Deer Lord by checking out their Bandcamp, or finding them on social media (Instagram, Facebook).
This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.
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